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    dkirschner's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (360)

    [November 11, 2012 09:00:22 PM]
    Cannot say enough great things about Enslaved. I know its sales sucked and most people never heard of it nor played it, but that is not how it should be! Enslaved is easily one of the most enchanting games I've ever played. The story is so simple, yet so engaging, and in the end, so incredible. This is due to the amazing world, which is a post-apocalyptic America, barely recognizable as such for the growth of nature that has swallowed it up. Some of the landscapes are so beautiful. I recall specifically Trip's home village up in the mountains. It reminded me of screenshots from Bioshock Infinite, just being so high up in the air. The colors in the game are very vivid. All of the landscapes are huge. You feel small in comparison, and that contrast drives this overarching mood of the game, one of being on a (endless, futile) journey, being a small desperate person in a giant shell of a world.

    The characters are so great together. There are two main characters, then a third in the later parts. You play as Monkey. The girl is named Trip. You are both slaves being transported by airship. Trip breaks out of her pod and disrupts the ship, causing it to begin falling. Through the mayhem she is causing, Monkey escapes his pod too, and begins chasing the mysterious Trip, trying to get to an escape pod before the ship crashes. Their relationship begins with ambivalence, and when they do both get off the ship, Monkey wakes from unconsciousness to find that Trip has put a slave headband on him, so he has to do what she says or else she can inflict all kinds of pain on him. Further, the slave headband is tuned to Trip's heart, so if she dies, Monkey dies. Their relationship develops from there. He's mad, she's apologetic, knows she's doing wrong, but just wants to get home to her village, and needs Monkey to help her. She swears she'll let him go when they arrive. Off they go.

    It's a really emotional story as you learn a bit about each of their pasts and plans and hopes for the future. You watch the characters bond as they overcome trial after trial in near-death situations. Monkey is the brute while Trip is the brains. The fighting is relatively easy, and more strategic than I expected, as you can utilize Trip's various abilities, like distracting enemies so that Monkey can run and flank them or something. The enemies in the game are mechs used by the slavers, led by some mysterious organization called Pyramid, which is somewhere in the west. One thing I think is so cool about the game is its lack of living things. There is only Trip and Monkey. There are the mechs, which as a whole constitute the things you fight in their various forms. And you just travel, trying to reach Trip's home town. Trip and Monkey are plenty of character together so the world is not at all dull. Never did I think, "I wish there were more characters or more going on." It's simple and effective and engaging. I'll spare ruining the rest of the story, but it just gets better and better and better. And the end, wow. Wow.

    As far as the gameplay goes, I felt a few things in particular. It's got the platforming a la Prince of Persia or Assassin's Creed games. The spots you can jump and grab are highlighted and it's very easy to see them. Monkey also rarely if ever makes a misstep, so the platforming controls are quite easy too. You just follow the lit path. There are usually a couple ways to go about getting from point A to point B, which is cool. The fighting is fairly basic too. Strong attack, weak attack, shoot energy with your magic staff. There's a guard mechanic whereby you can block damage and discharge energy to break guarding enemies' shields. You can stun enemies with electricity. It's fun. And incorporating Trip's abilities make the levels more like puzzles, figuring out how to disable that gun turret without it ripping you to shreds, for example. Monkey can pick up and carry Trip, and can throw her so she can get to places she couldn't alone. In this sense, the game obviously draws inspiration from Ico, except that your companion here is far from useless. Finally, Monkey has this hoverboard called a 'cloud' that is really fun to ride around on. It's only used in a handful of specific places though, like to fight the giant mechanical dogs whenever those fights happen, or to navigate across watery areas.

    Amazing game. It's very short, maybe took me 8 hours or so. Find it for cheap and go buy it.
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    dkirschner's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (360)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 9 November, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Friday 9 November, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Freaking amazing game. Beautiful, emotional, fantastic story, epic. -------- Yeah, wonderful. Great story.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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